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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  March 23, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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at the forefront, we hope that art expand its -- expatriate's -- i see more participation by european, chinese, indian, businesses and american, unfortunately. we would like to see america in front. thank you. >> you touched on this a little bit. i was interested in your assessment of the concern that is expressed in many circles with the impact of iran's influence on iraq and how it would affect u.s. interests. >> you can change many things,
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but you cannot change -- we have more than 1,000 kilometers of border between iraq and iran. several thousand years of history. for better or for worse, we are going to have to deal with it. we also have families who are connected. some of our labor comes from iran. we have a very close and almost integrated relationship with iran. but we have different political systems. we continued to insist that our
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relationships rebuild on mutual respect. we do not want to exports our democracy to the improved we don't want them to interfere. however, that is easier said than done. as you know, the best way to stop interference is not simply to admonish and to demand, but to build our own institutions and to build our own community. -- our own community. because we are in a vulnerable stage of our transition, we are still prone to influence and interference. the stronger our political system becomes, the more routine becomes in the integration of the government and the governors, the more immunity we
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will have. this myth that a rocky -- ir aqi are automatically subservient. this is not true. they have proved that to be the case. there might be some political elements who derive influence of power from iran, but as soon as any of that becomes known, they lose their clarity. in the long term, iraq will be ok. in the short term, [inaudible] >> serve, right here. >> mr. ambassador, could you
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update us on this situation in the oil industry? have the questions regarding the ownership of oil and the disposition and distribution of oil revenues, has that been resolved? i have not seen much about that in a long time. >> thank you. that is an important question. the constitution has made it clear that ownership of all oil and gas belongs to entire nation. wherever it is found. that is already in the constitution in black-and-white. were there is a dispute, -- when there is a dispute, it is about
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the rights to award contracts, the right to manage the export of oil. some local benefits of labor- management, not when you will sold, -- not when the oil has sold. to export oil, when that is done, payments for that go into our central -- there is no question about that. we have now awarded major contracts to major countries to come and rebuild the oil and the
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structure and increase the capacity to produce oil and export it. iraq has huge reserves of oil and gas. gas is -- we want to actually use it. to adjust to burn it is bad for the environment. we want to do is gas to generate electricity and then we will have plenty more to export. ground --l out of the is the cheapest in the world to get out of the ground. but getting it out of the ground is the easy part. we need an infrastructure, pipelines, stations to get it exported. that old take a while. we are well on the way in not ambitious project. major contracts have been
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awarded. we expect our oil production will increase. it is well above the levels of pre 2003. we are on course to increase, hopefully to double our current level within two or three years. >> but we recognize the last question on the far side. -- let me recognize the last question on the far side. >> mr. ambassador, could you tell us how well prepared to the security forces are prepared to maintain law and order once the u.s. forces have departed? especially leadership of the government. >> thank you. they have already been maintaining law and order. law-and-order inside iraq for
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the last year or year-and-a-half have been maintained by security forces exclusively. american forces have been almost compliant. very few operations have been conducted by the american forces. that is the import question. the real important question is counter security forces -- has not our security forces defend the country against all possible outside aggression after the americans leave? we have to look at that more closely. when the americans came, they disbanded our military. even disbanded the police. now we are building a new military. to build a new air force, for example, that is not something
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you can do in a couple of years. to order fighter jets, you have to wait five, six, seven years until they are delivered. when they are delivered, you need to have complete and the structure for maintaining them treading the pilots, train the maintenance people. the communications and radar systems to put them on the grounds. these are very sophisticated systems. we have to build the human infrastructure to support it. on that front, which are not there yet. we need a navy to defend our shores. it will take a few more years. we have to enter into some kind of security arrangements to vote
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us protect our air space and our shores -- protect our air space and our shores. if we do not, we will be vulnerable. thank you very much. [applause] >> one order of business. [applause] just bear with me for one additional words. as i came to know the ambassador as a politician and we at the bigger center still regard that as an honorable profession, a business person, as a diplomat to, but i also came to know them as a person with a lot of design as an artist. we also have a senator baker who
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is an absolutely lover of design and an artist. as a gesture of our appreciation to you, ambassador, for being here, i want to present to of an example of a wonderful design captured by a wonderful artist. signed by our own senator baker. [applause] >> is this a self portrait? >> the integrity of the leadership, i will acknowledge there is a resemblance. this has been wonderful. susan and john, thank you very much. we also have some smaller mementos of east tennessee that we will share with you. we at -- a wonderful gathering, thank you for being here. here.very glad you were
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thank you for c-span for making this available to a much larger audience. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> tuesday, the special representative for afghanistan said that the priority in the coming months will be to have can-led security forces. that is next on c-span. after that, a discussion on reducing high school dropout rates. and later, a look get issue facing veterans from the american legion conference.
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>> tomorrow, look back at the shooting of president ronald reagan on march 30, 1981. the panel includes the secret service agent who pushed president reagan into a waiting limousine and the doctor who operated on the president. hosted by the newueum, coverage is here on c-span. >> united nations representative for afghanistan said the u.s.- led surge in that country is working. staffan de mistura expressed confidence in an afghan reconciliation efforts. he spoke as the u.n. extended its mission in the country by one year. this is 55 minutes.
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>> he was talking about afghanistan on the eve of the un decision to renew the mandate in afghanistan. i believe the security council is voting today, is that correct? it is done and it has passed. he is talking about the u.n.'s role in afghanistan and the commitment development and security of the country, and he plays an important role there. there are 34 u.n. representatives in 34 afghan provinces. millions of afghans benefit from u.s. support, from food programs, health services, and infrastructure and development. afghans are asking to take a
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greater lead in all aspects of governance, development, and efforts to achieve peace. mr. de mistura clear that afghanistan makes -- takes its call for sovereignty very seriously. how should the transition take place? how can you in support this process as well as maintain its commitment to afghanistan development? these are some of the questions they will be a part of what mr. staffan de mistura will be discussing with us today. i will keep this brief because in his biography is in the flyer. he is one of the most accomplished officials having served in the organization for over 30 years. 40 years. even more reason to take everything he says very seriously. under challenging conditions he has promoted political dialogue, led reconstruction and
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development and humanitarian assistance efforts, and has overseen elections throughout the world. his take -- his work is taken him from somalia to naipaul, afghanistan, and many places in between. he served as the deputy executive director to the world food program in room. -- rome. he helped oversee a successful elections in iraq as well as construction and development and humanitarian assistance. those are few of his many accomplishments. it is a great honor to have you here, mr. de mistura. >> thank you. we thank you. good to see many friends and colleagues here. let me keep it short so that you can have the opportunity to
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raise questions. and then focus instead on three areas and on three events. there is so much we could be talking about on afghanistan. the three areas is security, because that is the first priority for everyone in afghanistan, every afghan and every corner in afghanistan. the second priority is security as well. in the second issue is what we mean in what can we do and what does it mean -- transition. and the other key word is reintegration, and the next word is reconciliation. so you have the words which mean a lot and should be meaning even more during this year. and in terms of events, we have
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the announcement by the president which took place today -- yesterday. and then we have the istanbul conference prior to that. there will be an announcement by president obama and as he has indicated, sometimes in july, and then there will be a conference and bonn. these of the stepping step -- these are the stepping stones they can be seen. we are in a fluid environment. we are not the only ones having steppingstones are creating steppingstones. others may have others. as go back on security. the situation in terms of security, there is a lot of debate about is it more secure or less secure than before? are we getting into a worse situation and so on. the surge by general petreaus is
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working. we can see that happening in the sense that there is clearly a change in the momentum. you could say and rightly so, yes, and there are so many casualties and there is so much violence. this is unfortunately a reality which was also in iraq. there was a moment when the peak of the so-called pressure encountered a counter-peak by the insurgents. and there were many more on the ground. the issue is to see whether after six months this is producing what it should be producing. here comes the main point. in iraq, although every country is different, there was a peak of bad news, and you suddenly is
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solid first beginning of the outcome of the search. in afghanistan, we would have to see what is happening in july. obviously the outcome of a military-intensified operation cannot be how many people on the other side you are killing, more than last year or last month, but whether that has produced what i think in a remarkably well worded -- every word in my modest opinion was highly calculated -- speech by hillary clinton at the asia society. for military surge, there is a need from a diplomatic and political surge.
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that needs to be taking place this year. otherwise, that military aspect alone cannot be an indicator of any success, because -- or of sustainable success, because we have all agreed, even the taliban have agreed with themselves, there is no military victory in afghanistan. so is moved to the next point. we can elaborate on many others, transition. what this transition? it is a key word which sends a message in a reality. we will see if it does in concrete we have to be a optimist. what is a win-win? let me give you some elements that we live every day. president karzai is clearly
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emphatic about the national sovereignty. the afghans have been charged of our country for 4000 years. alexander the great, the brits, foreigners are now helping us but at the end of today we are profoundly and nationalistic. it is time for them to stop feeling that this is actually moving in the direction of them owning more of their future. one win. that comes with accountability and reference ability, and it determines all the other side's. in lisbon there was a decision in 2014, the candidate. and in date for a certain type of engagement. he gives the feeling to everyone, let's go for an extra mile if needed.
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as go beyond just 2011 and not use 2011 as an opportunity to caved in and let everyone be tired and just move on. but it is also a message to say, look, if we're going the extra mile, and there is a plan their. transition is also a message in the direction of those contributing money and soldiers. it is a message to the taliban. we're starting gradually, but it is not going to happen overnight. if you were thinking about waiting everyone else, the waiting out may not take place that quickly, and now you're ready to wait for every night raid?
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perhaps it may be better to start looking at some different scenarios. and remember that this is gradually taking place, moving in this direction, no one intends to be there forever. but at the same time, we're not going to do what happened twice for the afghans. being abandoned for a third time after having an intense attention and then suddenly goodbye and good luck, and so in order for the decision to make a lot of sense for everyone to read through what they need to read. a militaryo back to surge hopefully bringing some of what secretary of state hillary clinton said. hopefully a political surge. that means reconciliation.
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that means some talking, and not only about talks but about a future afghanistan, but with some and gain the needs to be sufficiently reassuring to all afghans into our neighbors are far from our own principles. the teleprocessing is already taking place. there is a high-level peace council. it is led by a person who in theory is extremely -- he was exactly the opposite of the taliban. my mother's argument is, that is
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exactly the person you need. remember began-sadat? you need someone who has sufficient credentials to cannot be accused of being a betrayer of the community. bottom line, i think the peace council and president urbani's leadership is credit good bet in terms of moving forward on the reconciliation. nothing is perfect in afghanistan or elsewhere. but they want to be in charge of their own discussion, and we should not appear to pay lip service to the concept of an afghan-owned, afghan-lead, and so on. the next point is reintegration. you have two schools of
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thought, not them up or not condemn. people who abandoned the taliban and firemen in order to be able offered the job, security comer reassurances. and hopefully by doing so, you peel off the insurgency. in theory they will not peel off, because unless there is some reconciliation to an agreement, they actually would be afraid, were they come or not trustworthy. in practice 700 of them, people who are part of the insurgency, not all taliban, have already moved into that. but we need to reach 30,000 at least, if not more. if and when we get into moving, having this package ready and not waiting six months before that, they will have returned to
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the countryside i have reconciled and here i am getting nothing. bottom line -- reconciliation and reintegration are supposed to support each other. next, two of the enemies that we were thinking about. the secret is to have some steppingstones to get the feeling that you have to deliver, run the bill where you can to do something, like 2007. a dozen 14 is crucial in 2011 is essential. this is where the music in the town of the music will be laid down. when are these opportunities?
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it will be in july when there will be the first beginning of , whichpe of redeployment will send a message. then you have an opportunity in istanbul on a regional aspect. remember, any deal, if any reconciliation taking place in afghanistan without having a conference on by important to the potentially -- it is crucial for the stability of whatever agreement takes place. regional conference in istanbul, followed by conference in bonn in december, which could be the opportunity of taking stock of what has been done during this year, both politically and elsewhere. and who knows, perhaps more than
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that. i would rather expose myself to the brutal questions so that i can be even more explicit while bearing in mind that i have to be a u.n. official in front of the median, and therefore it will have to understand some questions i may not be able to answer but i will try to be frank. >> thank you for that analysis and introduction and what you should be looking ahead at in afghanistan. there are many experts in this room so i will open up the floor and ask people to state their name, affiliation, and keep your question to one question only. for those of you in the overflow room, we have question cards that you can fill out and hang your questions to end in turn. it will start with barbara and the guy back here. >> [inaudible]
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kentucky about whether you have more meetings like that? you think it is instructive to set up another process like the six-talk, and if you comment on what iran has been up to? >> good, we had to find a nice name for that. otherwise it did. difficult to decide what you consider a neighbor. a neighbor can be geographic, historic, it can be of remote neighbor, could be a influential
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neighbor. bottom line, it is the type of meeting taking place in kabul among the ambassadors of the silk road team, including countries that normally would not be considered exactly neighbors but have a lot of state for interest. because from india although it to turkey, russia, and the immediate neighbors which they do not need to remind you about. they all have a state and i think it is a genuine interest in stability in afghanistan. many of them also have community is very close to them or can be influenced by them or are influencing them. pashtu'a community, the
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n, not to mention all the others. the secret is to make sure that this type of dialogue is maintained so that it does not become only a bilateral discussion. that is what they have been deemed -- doing. how to make sure the arguments are not just political. when we talk to them in their meeting, they all said that we agree about stability in afghanistan. then we tend to fine-tune what is your concern about the people of afghanistan. a lot of drugs go into iran, into russia. or they may tell you, we may be concerned about the long-term american permanent basis, because it does give us a feeling of threat. that helps all of us to fine- tune the messaging that we give to everybody, the way that you
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present the future strategic agreement that is going to be taking place between the united states and afghanistan. that takes into account the sensitivities of neighboring countries. no base will ever be permanent, for instance. it will never be used against any neighbor. for instance, they will only be active from the government, and renewable by the government, and so on. this type of discussion helps everyone hopefully to start feeling more comfortable about what could be the future scenario of a stable afghanistan and making them feel comfortable with it. other areas are economic. think about the railways, the roads, the water, the bridges, the minerals, access to ports --
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there was a very good agreement, very affected by richard holbrooke, with afghanistan and pakistan but it took years to do that. it made a big difference in terms of interaction which is not just words. iran is a big country, stating the obvious, with a long border with afghanistan, and also strategic concerns about what happens in afghanistan. they have the shi'a community with whom they are feeling in touch, they have a big problem about drugs, and they do not like the taliban. the taliban themselves affected them very badly when they were in charge in afghanistan, and even killed about nine or tint of their diplomats. ignoring our ron would be a big
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mistake. -- iran would be a big mistake. it is not only a iran, pakistan is not -- maybe even more important. lots of work on that but i do not see this as a show stopper at all, because they are all worried about the afghanistan there. trying to build. and none of them wants afghanistan to go back into the hands of the taliban. the pakistan's are suffering enormously. a long answer to a very good and short question, i am chari. -- sorry. >> i just wanted to follow on what you said about the search strategy, from an outside
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perspective, if you look at the situation in kandahar, the delay in that area. it is hard to see, it is hard to see results there. in what terms you think the search is working? >> another one could look at it from some many points of view. i am looking at it from one ankle. the ankle i am trying to see is the following. when you have a substantial surge taking place in the south, you detect and understand also that often the taliban's attempts to destabilize other areas in order to send the signal that this is not enough in order to make the so-called momentum reverse. but when you look carefully, you start seeing that they are doing spectacular attacks or attempting to do spectacular
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attacks in places you do not expected. we and moderates in the very carefully. not so much in kandahar, and they are making substantial mistakes. i was there when mr. zarkawi was doing horrific attacks in the middle of the square. we have seen since the surge has started, more and more of this taking place. jalalabad, 40 people killed in the bank and 32 people wounded by a person shooting in front of a video camera in the bank. the national game of the afghans, you had a close to a school, and actually all of them
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civilians were killed. these are mistakes produced by the feeling that there is a need to produce the reversal of the momentum. if you look at the incident, it looks very bad. but when you look beyond the operational points of view, these are explosions trying to change but not changing everything. secondly, you can see it from the afghans that there is this feeling the taliban areas are not there anymore. they may return, but they may not find the cave where they have put their own weapons, so the end of this in terms of judgment would be one where the
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search would have exhausted its own peaked, june. it would've shown with the taliban have been able to do a counter offensive or not. therefore the security would have been changing. >> we have a question from the "l.a. times" in the back. how promising is it and how should they be structured? >> where are you? >> in the overflow room. >> thank you. i think the speech by hillary clinton, if you read it very carefully, it was indicating that you do not talk to friends, but you need to produce a peace and talk to someone else as well.
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there for one day it will be essential that a talk takes place, with the people who have given up at least the concept of wanting to have the scenario that is unacceptable. but not by putting that at the end of discussion. the first to need to talk to each other on the afghans. if we do not allow them, they would do it anyway and they should do it. everyone else needs to be involved. it is so very important. part of what should be one day sooner the better the beginning of the so-called political surge.
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>> you notice the potential key role of the high priest council -- high peace council. and the process of reintegration and reconciliation. it obviously has limited capacity at the moment. i was wondering about your stillng on what you're wrote colleagues and others could do to support the road -- silk road colleagues and others could support the road to peace, and perhaps an official group? >> let's start from the assumption which needs to be serious and not a disservice.
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afghan-led, and we would like to do it ourselves because that is what work. i've been there 20 tear us -- 22 years, and it is the one thing that unites all afghans. sometimes emotionally but it sends the same message, we are very proud people. our future is ours, ok? it needs to be at in-lead. that leads me -- in needs to be afghan-led. i supported it by man state holding a u.s. -- main stakeholders, like the u.s.. some have established -- we have
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established of salaam group. the first one is logic -- logistics. it is 80% in negotiations. you have to be able to be at the right place at the right time and be also in a way that you appeared to be, not contaminated. flying by a marine helicopter may in no way give you a certain time of profile. we have been putting our own helicopters, we have aided them, and the three planes that we have at the disposal of the salaam support group and therefore of the peace cuts. they use them actively because they needed to go all of the country to start talking to the local community and say, if we propose this and they propose
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that, would you feel comfortable with that? what is your concern about that? and secondly, around the region, they've been to turkey, to pakistan, and they just announced and with our support, to go to iran. a pillar of the slalaam group, many qualified in people who had a remarkable capacity of having us started the taliban on the other side. they are ready to work and prepare papers, position papers, analysis, all that which according to the afghan approach may be required various languages, it is complicated. and have a roster of many others available for the active substantial discussions.
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for example, how you fix -- if you start discussing the maintenance of the islamic identity of afghanistan, a crucial thing, and at the same time maintaining what we want to maintain, what has been acquired in terms of human rights and women's rights. we now have 69 women in the parliament, but the way. that is another area where we are involved. and in confidence-building measures. one day there will be the need for a u.n. office, in order to facilitate meetings between people who do not like to meet cut that off as can be opened by the u.n. without actually providing any type of legitimacy to anyone. we are legitimizing conferences in opening offices anyway. we are pretty good if that. we can also do a very office.
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and then building confidence building measures. bottom line -- we are a quick and pulleys to support formal and official negotiations which is to have a peace council. >> these are questions from ngo's in the other room. -- whato the bill cut should the political surge look like? is there a case for pulling back to enable non-state actors to operate more independently? and then a question about what happens to the rights of women's and girls' in the new afghanistan? is this a top priority for too hard to preserve? >> let's start with the last one, and as you probably know, the u.n. has to be very firm about elections.
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the lessons were not perfect, but like -- a country like afghanistan, in the middle of war, and after difficult elections, it would've been better not to have them. once you have been coming your free to try to capitalize and the factors that have institutions to start building up, such as electoral commissions. they did their jobs. they got one with 3 million votes out. in it was a difficult process. but if an institution worse in afghanistan, we need to help them because that is the beginning of fighting it. on the same concept, we need to maintain, and we are, working on building up what has been achieved regarding women and human rights and the to killer. you could argue a concern of
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many afghan women. if there is a discussion with the taliban, that this means that we are going to now pay the price, yielding, compromise coming giving up for the sake of mason -- for making peace? i hope and believe they would not be the case. if the taliban decides to discuss, and the things that they have discovered, there is no military solution, they may be tempted to do so. the only way in which they could be feeling that would have access to a discussion is knowing that the afghan constitution is set. you can change it if you want, but electorally, like you change it in the u.s.. you have to start by winning the election in a democratic way.
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they are all learning to be able to take over and take the constitution and make it a communist country. did they achieve it? nope. there are ways that you can still accommodate the fact that they're dreaming to do that but they will not be able to do it. especially with a strong parliament and strong women in it and we are part of supporting that. so, conclusion, we do keep an eye on it. it is dangerous because key argument to women is a funnel. pain, not only for us, but for millions of afghans by now. that they're very sensitive and careful as to not overplayed. although we of heard two or three awful incidents, and here is the optimist, they must learn the lesson that the afghans are
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not really milly -- not really more for that. we have to cross that bridge. regarding the roles of the ngo's, and you are right. at the moment, there is not a humanitarian crisis drowning afghanistan. but there is potential conflict if he goes in the wrong direction, and certainly there is poverty in some areas where civilians and civilian casualties, are suffering. allowing them to do that would be and is important. >> i am jim purcell, a former director of high a limb. -- of iom. has been in the gse in multiple
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institutions, multiple displacement. i've wanted if you could comment about the assimilation are going said that these people have a chance of staying here? >> i know your heart is still there. you should be proud of iom. they're doing a fantastic job on the border with libya. similar things in kuwait when thousands, thousands of people who were just workers being the first one to pay a price. on the issue of refugees, the biggest problem we are facing at the moment and you probably know there was a good will american -- goodwill ambassador busying there recently, afghanistan.
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news about the issue of when the refugees return emc and his family said -- should not feel that they are welcome and then abandoned. and that is a big problem at the moment. due to the security situation in focus on many other issues they are in the middle of a river. and they need to be better. that is why we have been promoting cooperation between the un agencies in order to have this type of village/family type of arrangement. but it is still a challenge. the good news is that they have to return back. when they detected these types of things, they have returned. we've had more more coming back from pakistan, best from iran, but many of them have also found jobs. you are right in raising it.
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>> in 1947, george tenet set up the policy planning shop and had a secret memo about the marshall plan. he explain the economic training with sometimes the best way to get the political and psychological effect that and underpin stability. i'm wondering whether in the case of afghanistan and you've certainly touched on the new soap road and the regional dimension, but i wonder whether the question of economic policy, including unemployment, which seems to be one of the top complaints of the population, could be more central going forward. when we hear others speak about it, they focus on the security
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but not the economic. is now the right time to begin to articulate the economic dimension, or it is something that comes later down the road? >> lovely to see you, by the way. really. and all the best. i am delighted. here are going through a reproductive lee wonderful. . we have known each other for so long and i am delighted. god bless you. the answer is yes, you are right. the time is now. the time is now. transitionterday's was announced, transition to what? transition simply to security? that the policing of the afghans will be comfortable in protecting the local environment, or also to affect
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unemployment and the local environment making an people finding a job, working there, and not being tempted by guys who come and tell them to join the taliban. second, you use the right word marshall plan. this is going to be a moment, and hopefully there will be a political settlement, where there will be a need and an urgent need for a marshall plan, particularly in some areas which have been affected. the this imagine the pakistan side of the border and the afghan side of the border, where most of the moments, the fighting, the bombing, the counter bombing, has been taking place. and once there is a political solution, they will be a major contributor to the future and the environment, particularly in the pashtun.
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you do not have to be a troublesome area to get attention. otherwise, they will think, but as be troublesome to get the attention. economic support to the very places that have already institutionalized and if you look at the areas, they coincide quite a lot. yes, and you need to come back soon whenever you can. because i think that is exactly the type of challenge we will face. it cannot just be security, no. >> a couple of questions about the un. other relations compare with that in iraq? and i gather this summer afghan
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forces are taking over security in seven areas. how will that impact the work the u.n. is doing in those areas? what are your concerns and thoughts? >> i would probably focus on whether be in the u.n. feels secure. the reality is that afghanistan is still a dangerous place. the reality that the un has been targeted and and -- and i have had five of my colleagues killed and several wounded. and we had an attack relatively recently, trying to enter our own operational center. they did not succeed. we were protected by the afghan soldiers. the afghan soldiers were the ones who shot first, got wounded, and then our own internal security was given
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enough time to respond, and we were able to go to a safe place. i am trying to reply to all three questions except the one about our religion ship with the u.s. military, which will really just separately. afghans are supposed to take over their own security, and we need to expect them and counsel them to do so. there been some cases but not massive ones. secondly, and our job is dangerous. but the argument is, if we were under the sky and completely passive, we would be in much worse danger. it is the danger that the un has had in this history, to become irrelevant.
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so if we have to be active, the risk increases, and that is why all of us are volunteers including myself, and then we move forward. the recording our relationship with the u.s. military, i am bayh's because as you know, i am a friend and you become one when you go through difficult times like iraq.
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c-span2. >> good morning, everybody. everybody had your coffee and you're all wide awake and ready to get to work? well, here we are. and once again i want to say how happy we are that you're here for the first annual building of grad nation summit. i had the pleasure of seeing many of you last night when we were joined by secretary duncan, but today we get busy and get to work.
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we've got a full day in store with lots of sessions. we have talked about this before, and we will talk about it throughout these today's that days that we are together. we are here as partners in the movement that is gaining momentum. people are coming to understand that we have a problem when a student drops out every six seconds. people are coming to understand that we have to turn that around. there's all kinds of chatter and all kinds of talk about it, and we see more and more news articles about it. the other day i got a letter from a man who said, did you know that another student dropped out of school every 26 seconds? you all at america's promise need to get behind this issue and do something. he obviously has heard the message. now, some people might think that a letter like that is discouraging, if we not let people know what we're doing?
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it really gets me very excited because it means that we have helped to raise awareness to the point that people not only know there's a crisis, they are repeating the very statistics that we talk about. when john prepared this landmark study several years ago, the dropout crisis really was a silent epidemic. but it's no longer silent, and that's just one measure of the progress that we are making. as we learn from our progress report last fall, the national graduation rate has sen three percentage point. that's not nearly enough. [applause] >> its progress. when we begin this campaign, we said our focus would be on 2000 low performing high schools. today, we have to revise that
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target because a number of so-called dropout factories has fallen to less than 1700. [applause] >> not enough, but its progress. in some of our largest cities like new york and philadelphia, we are seeing double-digit increases in graduation rates. great progress, not enough yet. guess what else wlearned? the cities where we are saying some of the greatest progress are the same cities where cross sector collaboration has been especially strong. and that's no coincidence. what we are doing is making a difference, but we also know, and that's why you're here, that there is a lot of work do. and so while this summ is about progress, even more it is
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about how we build on that progress. where do we go from here? we now add america's promise alliance have increased our allies to over 400 national partners and their local affiliate, and they are all activelyngaged in this movement. and if you're one of our new partners, thank you for coming onboard. but we need to recruit more to join us, and you all can help with that. we need to continue to support education reform, for school districts and states to be accountable for raising graduation rates and preparing students for success in college and work. for the implementation of common core standards that ensure rigor and relevance. and we need to hold ourselves accountable, too. to measure our progress and improve where we need to get better. now, that's something that you have asked for, and as a result,
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we've refrained our work over the past several years. this summit is an annual event. every year we will come back and measure our progress and make ourselves accountable for the results. we can't say this enough, the government cannot do it alone, schools cannot do it alone. what we can do is a national movement. and that is what we are building. a movement that has the power to bring real and lasting change. i learned something about the power of the mississippi river when i read that you can find fresh water 100 miles out into the gulf of mexico. that's a measure of the river amazing power. of when you think about it, that power doesn't come from the mississippi itself? instead, the river is a conduit
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we're the true power comes from the tributaries across our great heartland. it starts in the mountain streams of colorado and montana, and in lakes in minnesota and wisconsin, an appellation creaks in pennsylvania and west virginia and tennessee. last less tha..
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i am very proud of him. [applause] >> good morning. co-chair of grand nation campaign i am so excited that so many of you could be with us today. we need to start getting ready to work so get ready to stand. let's take a moment. if you are an educator and the audience, stand up. go ahead. if your a policymakers and the audience, stand up. if you are a business leader stand up.
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you work for a non-profit or community-based organization please stand. if you are a community leader please stand. and if you are from a foundation or founder of this great effort please rise. [applause] you see the extraordinary diversity that has come together and it takes a collaboration effort to make real progress to protect and preserve our community. the next day is about building a graduation nation. we know the challenge ahead of us and we know we can build a successful movement where we focus public attention on the challenge and show people how to come together in ways that contribute to higher graduation rates and better readiness for success in college and work. today we are going to roll up
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our sleeves and get to work. we have a day in store with sessions you will find exciting and informative. we ask three things of each of you today. first, let us hear your voice. these are not passive sessions. the fed dialogues and we need your active participation. second, take full advantage of the fa that we have brought so many people here for unite and common purpose, talk to as many people as you can. we want you to meet today with a new set of allies. people and organizations you can collaborate with on new initiatives and effort you ready have in place. and third, as these sessions unfold, think about what is next for you and your organization. how will you integrate read nation goals and strategies more
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deeply into your work and our organization? how can you get others involved? as you leave here today have a plann mind. we will be reaching out to you to see the kinds of progress being made in your community and we hope you will let us know how it is going. thank you for being here and we look forward to a great day. thank you. [applause] [applause] change in plan. that is with getting it right is all about. flexibility. we are privileged to have with us today someone who has been at the front lines of championing bose mentoring and education reform. first as a state governor, now as founder and chairman of a
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not-for-profit foundation. during his two terms as governor of florida raise its academic standards, require accountability in public school and created the most ambitious school choice program in the nation. florida students began making measurable progress wh improvements in graduation rates and in the number of students scoring above grade level and reading. , math and science. and with third through tenth graders in other states in ading and math. he also was a strong supporter of the florida men during a project. now he serves as chairman and president of the foundation for excellence and education which he founded, jeb bush is working state-by-state and across the nation. we are proud to consider him a partner in our work.
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ladies and gentlemen, governor jeb bush. ♪ >> good morning. thank you very much. it is a delight to be here. and thanks for the entire whole family for its commitment to the next generation of americans. i want to make two points about this summit and would you focus on each and every day. the first is that expectations truly matter. in 1998 as a candidate for governor undecided as i was driving up by 95 to go to one of my conversation campaign events, it would be a lot more fun to visit a school saw visit 100 schools beckoned the day when campaign handlers didn't run the campaign completely so i decided to visit 100 schools to listen and learn and that mission
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turned into in an00 school mission which turned into a 250 school mission ding the course of my campaign and iearned a lot and listen the lot and have a treasure trove of stories and experiences that will last a lifetime. one of the saddest stories occurred when i visited the remediation lab at stanford high-school in central florida where students were preparing for the florida case collects exam. looking over a kid at shoulder i saw him struggling with the following question. a baseball game starts at 3:00 and ends at 4:30. how long is the game? this young man was probably 16 or 17 years old and couldn't answer that question. he struggled. i could tell he really wanted to but he had an incredible difference to the -- difficult time answering that question. this was back when we required students to take their course is basically, show up, take their
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courses and pass and eighth grade level exit test to graduate and less than 60% did. so we need to raise expectations for every student and not excuse away functional illiteracy as we do in quiet ways and subtle ways all across this country. as 16-year-old moving into the world we live in today full of opportunities and great challenges should be able to comprehend the question and answer took an hour-and-a-half at the baseball game and comprehend much much more. in florida we created an accountability system that raised expectations for every student. we eliminated social promotion in third grade. we graded schools a, b, c, d and f 100% based on student learning and raise the level of aptitude required at high-school
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graduation tests. the results have been pretty impressive but there's so much more than needs to be done. florida students went from 29 out of 31 states in 1997 to 6 of 50 in 2009. florida's graduation rate has gone up in the last 12 years every year from below 60% to a little below 80%. florida and every other state needs to raise expectations, not excuse away why students don't achieve lower ones. the second point of like to make is things of national purpose require involvement by everyone. if we were honest with ourselves today in a common core standards that were set ueloquently for an honest conversation about where we are as it relates to the next generation, if we were honest with ourselves we would
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admit that 1-third of our students graduate from high school ready for a career or college. and additional one third graduate with a diploma but have to take remedial courses if they go to college at all and one third of our young people don't graduate from high school at all. to me this is shameful and i know it is to you. it is dangerous as well for our great nation. transforming our education system should be national priority and will only become one if everyone is involved. more volunteers in schools, more community and faith based groups actively engaged. more business involvement. more enriched after-school programs. more mentors and much more parental involvement. in florida, let's give it up for the parents. in florida, an attempt to make rising student achievement decor value of our nation we created
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as racial bowl of 200,000 mentor's involved with our kids with a focus on reading in our schools and one of the things i would suggest is secure release sincere you need to benchmark it so we did a survey and found at the time that we have 16,000 men forceoing just that and with the help of general powell we announced our goal and went to work. state workers got more hours a month against schools with pay. businesses did the same. we that business leaders to adopt schools and funded an expanded network of mentoring programs all across the state. we created a high-school mentoring program that helps struggling third grade readers with their work and develop leadership skills for the high-school mentors. we surveyed again after several years and found we had 205,000 endorse it engaged with our students. i know for a fact that it had an
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impact on the impressive learning game florida students have seen. today and tomorrow you will explore how to make rising graduation rates a national priority. my belief is we need engagement across the board. not another program. today is a good day to start. i wish you well and god bless you all. [applause] ♪ >> thank you for being with us. our relationship with the alliance and the corporation for national community service is as old as the alliance itself. embodies what american promise is all about. serving in ways that build up the community. we are excited and privileged to have patrick covington with us today. patrick became the ceo in february of st year but his
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whole professional life has been devoted to serving others and empowering communities. ever since he began his career as it case manager, worker with migrant farm workers, patrick is a recognized expert on non profit sector leadership, bird and volunteerism. prior to joining the corporation he served as the anti 80 foundation as a senior associate foundation focused on issues related to a leadership development and capacity. he served as executi director of the innovation network, and nonprofit devoted to building evaluation capacity of the non-profit sector and as a policy researcher at the urban institute. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome patrick covington.
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[applause] >> thank you. good morning lead to civil everyone. good morning, everyone. is great to be here. i want to give a special thanks to marguerite kondracke and the powells. th is one of the most important pieces of work that we do. ensuring that every student has the opportunity to finish high-school is critical to this nation's success and critical for us to win the future. we also know that national service has a role to play. thank u. [applause]
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secretary duncan has said that national service -- there's no more true thing. americorps members and visiting members, senior cos, are out every day in schools ensuring that students have a caring, capable adult taking them through this trajectory, taking them through their young adult lives to graduation. i have seen this traveling the country. as governor bush said, and liu see these things on the ground you can fully appreciate them. in san antonio and milwaukee, of birmingham, you see americorps members foster grandparents, working with kids who are troubled or struggling to get
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through, offering a beacon of hope, a ph of one life into another. nothing is more touching. nothing is more inspirational. to see a young person working with high school students eager turtle saying you can do this. you can imagine a future for yourself that no one else sees. that is the role the national service plans. it provides a vision and opportunity for young people in this country whose dreams have been shattered. to see themselves walking that long walk across the stage for high-school graduation. see themselves taking those firstteps onto a college campus. to sit in a classroom with piers
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they never saw that would fit next to. americorps members, foster grandparents, every single day in communities across this country, holding the hands, holding the hearts of young people as they make this path towards college. we are very fortunate at this ti to have national service on the national agenda. to see everywhere the difference we can make. there is no more important thing that we can do. as we look around here today, as michael said earlier, educators -- we have members of philanthropy, polymakers.
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it is a okay to take a moment to pat ourselves on the back. most of us here are people of search accomplishments. it is okay to feel proud. at this moment in history, there is no more important thing that we can give our lives to, our energy to, our hearts to than ensuring that every student has the opportunity to successfully complete high-school and move on to college. it is now my distinct pleasure and my honor to introduce our next speaker. melody barnes needs no introduction but i will bore you with the effects. melody was chosen by president
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barack obama to serve as director of the domestic policy council for his administration. the president served on the meer of 2008 and previous to that she was executive vice president for american progress where she led progressive policy initiatives. she joined the obama campaign. there are some things -- she is a member of the new york state bar association, graduate of the university of michigan law school and university of north carolina where she graduated with honors. previous to that she spent ten years working for senator kennedy as counsel for the senate judiciary committee. but more than that, ability has been and continues to be an extraordinarily leader, steward and driver of domestic policy
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agenda. she leads with intellect, with grace and with heart. it is my distinct pleasure and honor to introduce my friend melody barnes. [applause] >> good morning. i am happy to see you here first of all because you are going to help me win a bet with my parents. i was having a conversation with my parents last night, they were asking me about my schedule for the week and i told them i was going to be speaking with you this morning and they asked me and we were chatting and just before we were about to hang up my dad said what time is your speech? have to get to bed early and i said it is at 7:3 and without this in a beat he said is anybody going to be there? i assured him there would be people because i know how deeply
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mmitted all of you are to this issue that you would get up at 7:30 in the morning and salinas. those preceding me said it is the portant work that is to come. i would also like to thank the business partners for the summit. at&t, pearson and pepsico as well as general powell, michael powell, the 400 plus partners of america's promise alliance and the other three convene ears of the summit civic enterprises, alliance for education and hopkins's everyone graduate center. i am so appreciative the organizers are going to give me this wonderful opportunity to kick off a very important day focused on one of the most pressing issues of our time. we are all here today because in order to give our children the bright future ey deserve we have to build the grad nation
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that helps them succeed. our economy is growing more competitive and more connected than ever before. over the next ten years nearly half of all new jobs will require more than a hh-school diploma. half of today's fastest-growing job opportunities require a four year college degree. in order to outag kate and outcompete the world we must prepare students to complete high school, complete college, complete college and go on to pursue careers. but unfortunately too many students are not getting the world-class education they deserve. as many of theuarter of american studts are dropping out of higscols, a fact we are familiar with. the quality ofath and science education lags far behind many other nations. i remember when the peacea board
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came out earlier talking to many reporters and journalists and people who were constantly engaged in education and finding out people were stunned how far behind we had dropped in math and science and people are constantly stunned when they hear that 7,000 children are dropping out of high-school every day. on top of that and probably because of that america has fallen to ninth in the world in proportion of e young people we have with a college degree. turning this round is the right thing to do for our kids and the right thing to do for long-term economic success. the best job program is a good education. for the sake of our children and, our economy and erica's future we have to do a better job educating our sons and daughters. that is widely good -- we believe timely education reform is final. not just top-down reform.
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we believe students, and business leaders all have a role to play in making our education system of great one. these are not just words on a paper. not just issues we know about orion this stand because of research. i say this because this is something i have witnessed with my own eyes. i was on the board for a local charter school. we had given up on, it touched the juvenile justice system. for some reason, parent, grandparent, cousin or someone involved in the legal system, that particular child in the direction of the school. what i witnessed a year after year are students who were not
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going to school, barely going to school at all, all of a sudden making cs 4 theys. students who said they hated school coming to school everyday and not just for a short day but for that extended school day. getting all the wrap around services they needed. students who at one point had no vision, no sense that they could finish high school talking about going on to college saying i want to be a lawyer, i want to be aoctor and i was fortunate enough to see some of those students complete high school and see them go on to college and ma good grades. in other words those lives being turned around by education and by all the people in the community who had surrounded them and reported them and those students starting to believe in themselves. similarly a couple weeks ago, i
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traveled with the president with secretary duncan and governor bush who was just here to visit mii central's senior high school where they implemented a number of different turnaround strategies en before they received one dime of federal dollars. because of their great work they raised the school's school or on the state report card from an f to c and they are expanding their efforts and starting to see their results. school climate is improving. students suspensions are decreasing and in community engagement going on. they even started parent academy classes to increase family involvement and students success. there are other schools like that. take oregon. they have also shown what is possible. a new principle set high expectations for student achievement and with targeted
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professional development for teachers and a close look at student data to focus efforts they increased student achievement and reduce achievement's and reduce their dropout rate from 7.7% in 2002 to 2% in 2008. our goal is to build on these success stories across america and we have done that in part for race to the top. from less than 1% of what america spend on education race to the top has spurred more changed, more collaboration and positive and productive activities than any other education program we have known. race to the top provides incentive to states that serious about reform and willing to advance comprehensive plans to raise expectations for schools and students. it also focuses on developing great teachers and principals
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fostering innovation and schools and taking on talent and transforming our lowest performing schools. with a fraction of what the country spends on education every year, raced to the top has led 40 states to raise their standards for teaching, learning and student achievement. also brought together parents and teachers and administrators, and local officials. we are starting to witness the results across the couny. delaware and tennessee were the first two states to be named winners and going to last summer. in delaware for example, parents, students and other leaders worked together to adopt core standards, launch an innovative residency program to start -- train stem and teachers and specialty schools to work with teachers to improve the use of data and foster comprehensive and collaborative planning
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around instructions. that is the kind of collaboration and partnership that race to the top incentivizes and the kind of collaboration that will ensure education reform is long lasting. as part of its race to the top plant delaware also instituted a new partnership to transform underperforming schools by providing additional time for learning, leadership and staffing changes and flexibility indecisionmaking. the vice-president visited one of those innovative schools earlier this week to mark their commitment to improving student academic success preparing them for the future and i am sure he will be excited to tell you more about that when he visits with you later in the morning. race to the top fosters the kind of bottom up change we need at the ground level in order to move the needle on education. we need to do more at the federal level.
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a whole lot more. this month and we are calling it education month around white house, we often have a day or week but we decided what was important enough that we were going to cus the attention of the white house and the valuable real-estate of the president's schedule to talking about education week after week after week and this is onlyhe beginning. traveling with the president and secretary duncan, talked about education around the country and what i heard on the road is consistent with what i heard from teachers and family members and friends and even at the grocerstore. i am not joking about that. i can be standing on an aisle at whole foods and have people come up to me and say let me tell you what needs to be fixed with no child left behind. i can stand in a clothing store and try on a dress and have someone come up to me and say i know you work for president obama and i need to talk to you
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about education reform. i am not exaggerating. what people are saying over and over again is no child left behind needs to be fixed. that doesn't mean -- [applause] that doesn'tean everything with no child left behind was wrong. we have to set high accountability standards. at the same time we also have to address tho issues that are pulling the education system down as opposed to lifting every child up. according to the no child left behind metrics, 37% of american schools are not meeting their annual target and according to new estimates from the u.s. department of education more than 80% of our schools may be labeled failing in the coming year. that includes schools like kenmore middle school that is just a few miles from this
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motel. i was recently with the president and secretary duncan and i am here to tell you, kenmore middle school is not a failing school. can more is an art comnication and technology focused middle school with a 24 century curriculum. what is the inspiring teachers we met ten days o, a history teacher named lila stevens who was using duke ellington's life to teach her kids about the historical and cultural implications of ragtime music. she was assessing her students with traditional pen and paper tasks as well as portfolios and multimedia presentation and video and visual and performing arts work. it was a great example of how our schools can better prepare students for the rigors of college and tomorrow's careers in the most engaging ways. the progress being made at
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kenmore cannot be deemed a failure. similarly we know eight of ten schools in this country are failing soe ed a better system that will appropriately measure student progress and refocus resources and reform on thschools that surely need our help the most and those that need a robust plan to close t achievement gap. that is why last week the president outlined his plan to reauthorize no child left behind to reauthorize the elementary and secretary education act and fix the problems that must be fixed. in short, we have to make sure we are graduating students who are ready for college and career. i heard governor bush talking about this a few minutes ago. tooany of our students are leaving high school. those leaving are high school and need remedial education. that means there is a job that
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has been left undone. we have to make sure we are putting outstanding teachers like lila stevens in every classroom and putting outstanding aders in front of every school. we have to give those teachers and leaders the pay and support they deserve. finally -- [applause] >> we need to not only hold failing schools accountable. [applause] >> as the president has said. in the twenty-first century is not enough to leave no child left behind. we have to ensure every child gets a head and they will only get ahead with an excellent digit cage in. that has to be america's promise to every child. and excellent education that prares them for the rigors of
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the world they should be ready to face, a world they should be ready and able to tackle and to enjoyed and succeed and lead a happy d healthy life. is that is why our administration is committed to working with republicans and democrats in congress to fix no child left bind, reshape our federal role in education and make college and career readiness a reality for all students. that means first fixing no child left behind accountability system and building on a new system predicate on a more challenging set of standards and better assessment. advancing a new framework for the federal role in education that is result oriented and focused on areas that will generate the greatest impact for students. that means rewarding excellence for more competition across the state and rorming and consolidating our existing
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investment in education from 38 disparate programs to 11 funding streams that will function more effectively for states and school districts. it means preparing, developing and rewarding effective feares includg measured teacher effectiveness through evaluation system that providing grants to states and districts tt are willing to take on comprehensive changes in how they develop, support and reward successful teachers and principals. and bring in new energy and bold strategy to turn around the lowest performing schools. promoting successful conditions for innovation and effective charter schools and providing more well-rounded education by funding the development and scale up of a effective programs in additional subjects. foreign-language bleaker turtle history, geography, the arts, economic and financial literacy
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and by supporting the successful and healthy development of students inside and outside school. democrats and republicans have worked together for many years for which there is a great deal of common ground and already we have seen great examples of reform in action around the country. after a trip to miami central senior high school president when to boston academy, a school within theoston public school system that puts innovation into practice and taps into a strong community willing to share responsibility for the success of students. students are required to take more math, science and technology classes, go to school during the summer and have shorter classes that enable teachers to receive the training and support they need and to collaborate so they can support students in an olympic manner. with the help of the gates
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foundation and major companies like ibm, cisco and others the school incorporates technology into every classroom people and provides access to 20 first century curriculum and establishing philanthropic and business leaders that provides students, which they need. techboston is an example of parents, philanthropists and others all demonstrating a shared responsibility for the education of young people and the results are phenomenal. techboston's graduation rate is 20 points higher than the rest of the city's graduation rate. 20 points higher. ninety-four% of the most rece graduating class went to college and 85% of those students were the first in their family to go to college. this can be done. this can be done
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[applause] >> we can't take it when people say to us there are all these factors that will prevent students from going to college, th are going to hold our students back, that are the reason for students dropping out. those are reasons. those are excuses. you know it, i know it and we know we can do something about it and we are going to do something about it. we have to have a national education policy that incentivizes partnerships and these kinds of high standards that make sure we can replicate stories like techboson all over the country. every child deserves it and we will make sure every child has it. [applause] >> building a grad nation requires all of us getting back to work and back.
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education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity. it is a prerequisite. we need to make the hard choices and investments necessary to ensure all our children are prepared to succeed. the president is prepared to work with parents, teachers, governors, private-sector, republicans, democrats, anyone and everyone to make sure we do it to ensure that we have a bright future for our children and that they are able to compete and win. that is our commitment toou and most importantly, that is our commitment to our children and we look forward to working with you every day, every week, every month until we get ts done. thank you for what you are doing. we look forward to your partnership and enjoy the rest
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of your conference. thank you so very much.
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from the fourth congressional district of pennsylvania. [applause]
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[applause] >> in special recognition of the honorable jason altmire united states house of representatives representing pennsylvia's fourth congressional district for his selfless donation to the pennsylvania american legion's hoing for homeless veterans corporation to continue his critical mission of assisting the homelessveterans of pennsylvania. the concept for the housing for homeless veterans is simple, right a safe, clean, stable environment for the purchase of pence while they complete schooling, job training and become adequately self-sufficient to seek permanent housing in the surrounding community. the main goal for the participants is to become productive taxpaying citizens by
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securing good, decent jobs. over the years the corporation has had over 400 veterans go through the program within 85% success rate. n his relatively short congressional career representative altmire his interest co-sponsored and supported several pieces of legislation aimed at assisting veterans including expanding small business assistance, expanding the family and medical leave act for military families, and improving treatment of traumatic brain injury. the american league region appreciates representative altmire's significant contributions to the success of america's homeless veterans and their families. presented in washington, d.c. at the washington conference of the american legion march 22nd, 2011, daniel wheeler national and jimmy foster, national commander. [applause]
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>> now that you know what the word says this is an incredible honor for me. i can't tell you how much this means to me. this isn't something i know you usually do during your convention. this is a special recognition award, so commander foster and your entire team i wa you to know this is very important to me and commander conley has a friend and constituent, i know that this hopefully will show the rest of the country and the rest of the american legion how important that program has become in the state of pennsylvania and i can tell you as a member of congress, when you have a past national commander in your district and that commanders name is ron you're going to pay attention to the american legion. no question about that thank you. [applause] thank you for your advice and consultation and that has led to my interest in the homeless
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veterans program and of course you can spend your time in any number of ways when you're in congress andike a lot of people in a bipartisan way, i've chosen to dedicate my time to making sure hour veterans are taking care of and we are supporting our troops, and that is a bipartisan across the ogle motivation for all of congress. we work together on that and in pennsylvania, we have this unique program of the homeless veterans project which the commander initiated and continues to carry forward and the reason i took a special interest and that is because when you talk a bill supporting our troops and to talk about the men and women when they return home and making sure they are cared for we always as a country seem to talk about the same things. we talk about traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, amputations, the family aspect being away from your familyf you are in the guard or reserve, the employment situation, making
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sure that the business can carry on without you, making sure when you return the job still there making sure the bonus that you have earned and deserved is awarded and you get to keep every penny all of these are important and all of them are in the national dialogue but homelessness has until very recently always been one of those issues people simply don't want to think about that. i don't want to talk about that. but because of you, because of the people in this room, that's no longer the case. the president of the united states, the secretary of the va and american legion chapters all across this country have made caring for homeless veterans and indeed eliminating homelessness amg our veterans population to be the top priority of the va and people who care about our veterans in this country. it's no longer something we don't want to talk about, i'm happy about this. i accepted with great gratitude to understand this is an award
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for you. this is your effort that made it possible because now as a nation we recognize we have a lot of work to do and we are making a lot of progress but there's more work to be done and i'm trying to do my part in a very small way but it's because of the people in this ro and the people in pennsylvania who run the veterans' housing program that were making such a great strides up. so i accept this on your behalf. thank you verymuch for your support, and i look forward to working with you all. thank you. [applause] ..
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assistant secretary for the writer is to writer is limited training, otherwise known as space at the department of labor. the always smiling hugely energetic right is a plus point that. he natured and what else? leadership. empty time he subsequently served at the ministry officer chief leadership positions in u.s. presidential honor guard, third ranger battalion and third special forces group. we can identify close to the that face the wounded warriors because he is one. thirspecial forces training some years ago, ray lost all five fingers on his left hand while attempting to check this by these from the prematurely detonating hand grenade.
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after recovery, ray went back to school with a vengeance. he moved to cambridge, massachusetts amended npa with honors at harvard's kennedy school of government and anmba from harvard business school. he then camedown here is a white house fellow, served as a fulbright fellow in sync work, work at a high level of job creation position for the state of hawaii and finally was summoned back to washington by secretary of state, con powell to receive a percentage that fulbright alumni award for dedication to public service. he was a natural choice for his current position at the department of labor. i could race of their accomplishments, but my introduction be longer than remarks. so please welcome ray jefferson, mr. secretary. [applause]
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>> good morning, american legion. how are you doing this morning? are right, let me just say, commander foster, president ashworth, commander dew, members of the legion, i'm thrilled another to be with you this morning. they also want to applaud you for your courage for bringing back a second time. even a sauna for this story about about the assistant secretary to give akeynote speech early in the morning. after a server company went back to his office, called the special assessments as his special assistant, ask you to write me a 20 minute speech in the city gave me an hour-long speech. halfway through camaro started the evening. it is a complete disaster. what happened?
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specialist databases are, i did write your 20 minute spech. i also gave me two extra copies since you asked for it. [applause] someonto wake up the office of p.m. last night todo with the american legion, our nation's oldest and first veterans service organization. [applause] i have to ask this question. how many army veterans of a hat morning? navy quiets air force? marines? coast guard? all right, i'm glad i don't have to stay here in spirit. i like to share issue choral services let it.
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the reputation being the fastest indian generals in the army is not a a value at intrudes on maneuvers monday when a friend of the settlement came by by to visit. they were friends early careers. the admirals on shortly. the admirals talking to the general said general, i'm psyched to tell you i have the most courageous men and women on the high seas. the general says well, i'm very happy r you. at the most courageous men and women on land. the admirals is holed up, we've known each other a long time. and they are just a mac as i said it first. you can'prove that. the generosity don't think so, watch this. because of her our presidents had to sit the tank moving from site to site? privette said yes or. i want you to read archie to tank, jump in front of it and
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could see nothing but your body. the predecessor companies got to be kidding me. there ain't no way onto a map. you can't come up with a new plan. the pilot took off rnning. the general terms e admirals a d.c. come it takes a lot of courage to talk that way to a general. [laughter] [applause] ladies and genlemen, i'm rilled and honored to be with you this morning. we are here together about a year ago. i want to also acknowledge you have a great team and your economics committee led by joe sharp and bob. where is bob at? you have a great economics team. last year when we were here, we talked about the challenges and the veterans employment. quickly before a segue into bloomington last year, just bring your attention to the right side of the room i want these two ladies to raise their hands. these are two members of my team
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who are both veterans, but also what i call super veteran. both of these ladies are graduates of the u.s. military academy at west point. give it up. [applause] rachel, go ahead and raise your hand. rachel and the right side also is a masters degree in leadership coaching from georgetown university. she was a general officer appeared on last night nancy, a military police officer, catastrophically injured in the jump of 100% paralyzed in a wheelchair with incredible willpower and truly a lot of prayers and miracles she was blessed to have a miraculous recovery, went on to law school, served as an executive with the careless parents of america. she is now a director of strategic outreach. rachel is their chief people
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officer. please welcome them to the american legion family. [applause] [applause] thank you, ladies and gentlemen for that very warm introduction. one must joke. [applause] and then some lessons from the joke. it's about a businessman who is visiting new york city. and he can't testify to europe to check on some of the separation they are. so he walks into a bank, asks to see the loan officer and says they need a loan for $5000.
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the loan ofcer officers of parliament that size, wanted some collateral. so the businessman pulls out the keys to his current figures the keys to make renewables race parked right out front. the loan officer take the keys can get some paperwork. the businessman fills out paperwork and everything checks out. he gives in his phone for $5000, takes the keys cdescend to a bank employee. the blake employee perks it up back in the parking grudge. the businessman goes up for a few weeks, comes back and asked if you're not snsitive thank you very much. hairshirt $5000, thank you very much. the loan officer says not so fast. when you work on, we did some research on you when we realized that you're actually a multimillionaire. zero the multimillionaire need a loan for just $5000? the businessman that down and said i didn't get to be a multimillionaire without having some foresight and creativity.
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how else do it two weeks of secure parking in new york city for only $15? [laughter] [applause] the commanders that that was good, so i think and they put us on the calendar for next year. ladies and gentlemen, i wanted to come ctu today that we cannot have transformational outcomes in and kept for veterans and less to become transformational organization. but cannot the massive transformational individuals via that's one of the reasons rachel bellamy ov there, chief police officers making sure that each member of the victim is growing and releasing his and her potential. for sending creativity is what will be required to effect meaningful employment in today's economy for veterans, for servicemembers, first buses. we do three primary things that
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is. we prepare servicemen and women for meaningful careers. we provide access to meaningful careers to servicemembers family protect thse -- that access those rights. we prepare the provide access and we protect. last year i talked about the fact that the program has not been modernized in 18 years. 186 power point slide in and maintain your curriculum. i don't care how many jokes you have. it can only do so much with hundred 86 powerpoint slides. we reached out the bigger were the smartest, most ffective prrams and people in a nation and create transition? annuity in the world? and busier we are transforng and redesigning this program to the ground. for the first time ever, will have pre-work. fore you come to town, to take assessments.
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to take assessments to determine how ready you were for an appointment for much interest there. then wll bring it to the program with other people who have the same transition needs. then we're going to bring a new best content, like how to credit a charisma life plan, networking, storytelling cannot convince employers to the right person for the job. stress reduction training, mental resiliency techniques, how to transition from military to civilian work environment. we're going to get away from the powerpoint slide and coach but we'll know in the military, learning by doing, the adult learning best practice. we're going to do something that's never been done before. after tab support. how many of you have bought a top in the last two years or some device he spent a lot of time on the phone the next couple weeks. i secretly and shaking her head,
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talking to tech support. well, that's where they do it. for about 60 days after he servicemembers finishes top, he or she will be able to make phone ca or go online to get customized coaching to implement an action plan that they create. never been done before. [applause] we are going to have an entire program online. so any of you, any employees do you have, any veteran, any spouse will acce the robust online platform of the content will be online. for the first time, were going to measure the result. 1.7 million people come to tap in the last 19 years. gina how much feedback we have and how to inform the database? were going to get feedback and performance networks with a
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graduate, when they apply what they learn them when they get the job. that's overdoing. my goal is to have this fully implemented by veterans day. that's overdoing to prepe servicemen and women for meaningful careers in the 21st century. we're going to make sure spouses are aware that they can use this program. we're going to be a partnership with the military spouse employment program, which has gotten jobs for 90,000 spouse says. [applause] we can't do this work alone. we need you, the american legion and the other pss to help us. i know secretary shinseki will be here shortly. report from hawaii. he is a major source. join us at the va, d.o.t., privacy or the h.r. community. this is not just vets appear.
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this is one team doing great things. let's talk about providing access to meaningful careers. we used to meet with employers one at a time. when you wonder how long it can take to set up a meting. now we started a partnership with the u.s. chamber. we did phase one in july of last year in 14 states, where for e first timer state direct heirs are being invited to address rooms fu of employers, 100, 200, 300 at a time in about 45 days we reached 1500 employers last year. how long would it have normally taken to do that same thing? now, but they speak to this week, we will face when the pilot, whether it be worked on the top 100 chambers of commerce in the nation were launching this is thursday in chicago.
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i believe bob will be there representing you well. we have over 100 employers confirmed to come in higher veterans. there's a waiting list for them to get in the door. we have ov 500 veterans confirmed. [applause] retail and employers, you come to higher on the spot. this is a hiring fair and this is the first. we are indeed be found with the other 99 tophambers in the nation. this is phase two. we're going to ask for your help as we do to make hiring affairs to get the word out. jo sharp was very helpful to help us get the word out to veterans. we're going to be asking you to help us as we go through the other 99 hiring affairs. we'll be asking you to give some of the employers they are. i found all this information out. nancy, racer and again.
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you will get this information through joe sharpe. we'll be asking for your help. we're also forming a similar partnership. number two, job quarter. our young veterans, 20 to 24 had the highest unemployment of any cohort. giving them round-trip transportation, housing, meals, everything provided correct customized through training certificate and 21 the postemployment support. we have over 100 -- will take that. [applause] thank you. we have over 100 veterans. we have space for 200 more in the pilot. i ask for your help. hope is the word out to young veterans.
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we've said this information to you in the past. you have helped us get to over 100. can you please help us get to 300? the number one source of information on how people signed up for this pilot his family and friends. he well could be incredibly helpful to us in this area. commander, i'm going to ask nancy to resend her mission to today. if you see what considered this deletion. i can think of no greater source of communication to young veterans and the family and friends of the american legion community. i ask for your assistance humbly. [applause] you know, it's great that e've been come to a national conference in washington d.c. we need to remember that in america, 17% of americans live in rural america, but 37% of
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veterans live in rural america. for a long time, veterans from rural america have been underserved when it comes to employment. we realized this last year when we launched a pilot program in washington state, a very innovative partnership, will commit veterans service organizations, state government teams, corp. for community service, were the first time we get boots on the ground in rural america. we're calling and contacting veterans of america is the duty on employment services? when they say yes, we're right there knocking on their door, giving them one-on-one coaching and services. never been done before. let me tell you something, folks. we were hoping to have a 10% participation rate. our participation rate is in excess of 90%.
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[applause] we would like to move this to the six states and afterwards make the national initiative. we are constrained by resource, but as i talked before about for sending creativity, we have a few ideas. so will be working on those. you can't let it get program like that type. and especially when it costs almost $0 to implement. but they also sayn terms of providingaccess that we are completely supportive of the inspiring vision that secretary should psyche has laid out for all of us roughly a year and half ago offending veterans homelessness in five years. we were part of that. we contribute to the immigration program. we have incarcerated veterans
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program as well to reduce recidivism among her formal incarcerad veteranso give them a second chance in life. we also have a green jobs training program. prepare, provide, protect. i'll conclude with protected by just saying that we've done a process assessment of our employment rates program. it's very paper centric. if nonautomated. it doesn't use the best elegy. it's for bringing in best practices, for automating it, developing case management. i'll be a better customer service and continue to look for ways to become more effect tan the application of employment rate. you can do operate things, but
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people who are not in this room don't know about the value f hiring veterans. it's hard to have transformationa impact. that's why we are working with "fortune" magazine and "forbes" magazine in business week to have articles that will be covering the value of hiring the veteran and how to find veterans which are the most widely read subscriptions by ceos america. i'm so glad that last year fortune mag put a veteran on its cover for what i believe is the first time in history to notch his veterans. if you can see this in the back, a woman veteran as well. clap back [applause] we've got a commitment from business week to do two sections on federal employment this year. that's 30 million people who will see each of those.
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with a commitment from "forbes" to do one more. we're working with the entertainment industry foundation in hollywood to do a make a event veterans day this year. hoping to pair with the inspiring messages about them that. why towered them, how tired them. all of his is a big part of our emphasis on raising awareness in our nation about the value f hiring our veterans. so let me conclude a sharing a few things. i hope you find it hangs we're doing to be the right things. i didn't prepare a speech for my me today. i just wanted to give you enough date. president woodrow wilson said,
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we're not here merely to make a living. we are here to enable the world to the more amply with craters. and put a sense of hope and achievement. we are here to improve the world and we impoverish ourselves if we ver forget that kerry and. members of the american legion, you have always remembered that noble errand. you remind us of our values and who we are. you remind us of the service and sacrifices that have been required for us to get here. you remind us of who and what we have potential to become. woodrow wilson office had,
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commander, to be ote great player dreams. all great men and women are trimmers. they see things in a soft case for spring day for the red fire of a long winter's evening. some of us thought these great games die, but others nourish and protect them. they are sent to the bad days until themerge into the sunshine and light, which comes always those who sincerely hope their dreams will come true. members of the american legion, you remind us the noble dream of what our nation is, the journey that we've traveled, where we are going in who we can become. eleanor roosevelt said it's better to light a single candle than to curse the dark this. you the american legion is a
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candle that lights the way to a better america and a better future. please continue to burn three. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary for being a dynamic young man and thank you for your continued support and service to america by helping veterans occur meaningful employment. and somebody should have got
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those two former soldiers over there and find out if they're a member american legion. i got a thumbs u. all right, there we go. thank you, ladies for your service. the american legion has, since its inception, dedicated itself not only to veterans themselves, but to their families. that is one reason the sun for the american legion was created in 1932. dsa alice made up of boys and men of all ages whose parents were her parents had served in the united states armed forces and are eligible for membership in the american legion. together members of the american legion, the american legion maxillary in the sense that the american legi makeup the entire american legion family. we all place high importance on preserving our american
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traditions embodies in improving the quality of life for a nation children, caring for veterans and families and perhaps most importantly, teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship but the past national commanders of the sonof the american legion please rise and be recognized to this time? [applause] >> morning. thank you. good morning, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests. first of may 2 thank you for the
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opportunity to bring greetings from the sons of american legion. we have a priority list and yes every issue is very important. it has to be addressed as though. call me greedy, call me selfish. with all the great things that have happened to me this year, from being a leg did to this great office in the lock he to being a pearl harbor with the 20 -- 120 -- over 120 survivors of that terrific attack to the land of the reason the beautiful memorials this week. i've got one more on my bucket list i call it. this being the year that the representative said senators should the right thing and pastorate resolution 13. the congress shall have physical desecration of the flag of the united states of america.
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[applause] and so commander boxer, i know i can speak for the sons of the american legion that we are by your side with honor and pride. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] be mag thank you, commander dew for your dedication to the american legion family. our next speaker is his iraq name is a familiar face. that is because he is a close neighbor to rdc staff and also more importantly because he worked so closely with the american legion. he is a man who i can't note earlier this year has been met
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in his office for 71 minutes. just around the corner from our d.c. headquarters to discuss issues that can turn to veteran and issues of aaron to the agency that he is now leading. he's in 1965 graduate of west point, going on to complete 38 years of honorable military service in the united states army, including two combat tours in the republic of vietnam and culminating in his career at the army's chief of staff, the highest office in the army from night to 99 to 2003. he is shown himself to be a true band of veterans and sincerely wishes to do good, good and cooperative work with veteran service organizations n general
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and in particular withhe american legion. it is my honor to introduce to you within the honorable eric k. shinseki, secretary of the department of veterans affairs. [applause] [applause] >> jeremy, thank you earn much for the ki introduction and for the invitation to be here today. for those of us but still have teams play march madness, congratulations. for the rest of you, condolences. we'll see you next year. well, let me acknowledge or vice commanders, russell henry, jean pat to, john traber, carlos cabrillo medina, dan wheeler from your adjutant.
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dan dillinger coming of legislative chairman, carlene ashworth, auxiliary president, it david dew, national commanders sent to the american legion. also congratulate her on her race. i understand congressman altmire was here earlier. he and senator akaka or you will be recognizing major, each has been a tremendous supporter in tirele worker in behalf of veterans, their families and survivors. in my opinion, there are no two more deserving members of congress for that kind of recognition. so congratulations to them once again. members of the legion, fellow veterans, other distinguished guests and they included mayor assistant secretary which ever seen. it's always tough following ray he at the podium.
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ladies and gentlemen, i'm honored to be here and i salute the legion's long-standing devotion to our nation's veterans. last week i attended a funeral for frank buckles, who enlisted the army a age 16, the last on american veteran of the war to end all wars. when asked in later life, why he lied about his age to serve in world war i. he said if your country needs you, you should be right there. that's the way i felt when i was down in the way i feel today. on the eve of battle during world war ii, marine lieutenant anthony to tora rudy's family, always pray, not that i shall come back, but that'll have the courage to do my duty. with great sadness, lieutenant to tora was killed in the battle of guadalcanal and joined what
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is today more than 1 million americans who have throughout our nearly 235 year history of our nation placed their most precious gifts on the altar of freedom. with your help and support, 2010 was a good year for veterans. for two years now we have been teaching three fundamental behaviors we've been after and fosing people on three key priorities. three behaviors, three priorities, for us six simple rules that time and i'll go through them very quickly and we'll see how that trend fades to the kinds of things we are working on. three behaviors sound like bumper sckers, but they're not. first, people centric. we serve veterans. that's their only mission. and veterans are at the center of the focus. and in that kind of a service oriented relationship, people
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count. people count. they must be trained. they must be well trained. they must be properly motivated and a great judge to eventually inspiring leadership. and that ms. miers on stability, to put in place the kind of leadership that will generate the first two points. next, results oriented. we must be able to measure return on any as we make. if we can't measure, we won't combust. there are many good ideas who have come to me saying, mr. secretary, we need to do this. but if no one canay at the business plan for when we take our precious resources invested in that way and show a return for veterans, frankly, we've withheld those decisions. finally, for that key. we need to look out five years
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to envision the va, we will need that point in terms of training, in terms of equipment and in terms of leadership. if we are going to better serve veterans than we do today, we have to have a long term book and then decide how we're going to get there over the next five years. so these three behaviors are focused on on the three key priorities that we've been emphasizing for the past two years. you've heard them before. i've talked about that on previous visits. very simply, increased access, veterans access to va benefits and services now. reduce and ultimately eliminate disability claims in 24 team in finally and veteran homeless as by 2015. so those are the sort of three priorities for focused on. three fundamental behaviors that people centric, results
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oriented, forward-looking and three key priorities. access, backlog, homelessness. we have momentum in each of thesinitiatives and we expect to see a church of the next two years. on the 14th of february, president ama submitted his 2012 budget in 23rd team advanced appropriations request to documents. and in doing so, kept his promise to care for those who have safeguarded the nation. his budget requests -- his budget request 100 dirty tube billion dollars in 2012, 61.9 billion of that is in discretionary funding, which is where health care is, what affects us knows. $70.3 billion in mandatory funding. our discretionary budget request represents an increase of
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$5.9 billion, many $10.6 billion crease in the 20 thank you to budget. to documents. while each document, the budget request and advanced appropriations request is important enough on their own. when you put them together, they are powerful in terms of energy, opportunity and continuity. thanks to congress this screen tv for appropriations for you in the american legion worked so hard to get for us. so while vba benefit and nca cemeteries, make two other administrations, call it the departments and agencies are dealing with continuing resolution, dha, health care administration is fully funded for 2011 and delivering health care to veterans without interruption. [applause]
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this is your doing, so that applause is for you. it's often noted that less than 1% of americans serve in our military. those who do allow the rest of us to d an americans to bastinado southbank, i'll create, albert, who produced the rest of the world. hey, tho who serve in uniform help him leash are powerful and economic engine, enabling us to do what we've historically done and that's when. now i know the economy has lost a bit of sparkle at the moment, but i trust the instincts, the energy, creativity and intellect to the american people to get us back on course. that economy is coming back. president to bomb has challenge all of us o out innovate, at educate, alpo competition in this budget hopes veteran nba to
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our part. today our military remains operationally deployed in iraq and afghanistan. complex has been underway for most of the past decade. the burden on our mike to send all volunteer force in its families to accomplish every mission without failure, without fanfare, without complaint has been enormous. we all know that. as they redeployed home and return to their communities, the nation must find ways to offer them the opportunity to add their substantial gain operationally, and their substantial skills, knowledge and attribute to the powerful economic engine i described in rage ever since discussion with you was abt how to jumpstart jobs for veterans. the va's mission is crucial to their transition home. as president lincoln reminded
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us, 146 years ago we care. we care for those who have put in the battle and their spouses than were fans. the requirements and respsibilities have grown as we address some long-standing issues of past wars. we did this last year. if you recall agent orange, gulf war illness, combat he tst were some of the decisions we took care of. at the same time, watch the injuries and illnesses from current conflicts grow significantly. these numbers will continue to rise for many years, maybe even decades after the last american combat and comes he from iraq in the sand. you understand this is reality. this is reality. you of all the good. and we have to ensure that the lessons of the past revisited.
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when the last combat and comes home, these requirements are still going to be building to look for your help and support and insights how to do our jobs. the va is a large organization with a corresponding large budgeted in diverse and complex mission. we provide health care, disability benefits, pensions, homeowner, life insurance, life insurance, educational systems and we run the largest -- the nation's largest cemetery system, which by the way has outperformed every other enterprise in this country for the past decade, public or private, nonprofit or profit. for some ask, why is the va so large and complex? ways the federal government doing so my things for government? in my research demonstrates that pretty simple in theory. because in times past, those who
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were nations in the arms were often either unable to acquire or for those services on their own. no one would prode them. and so the va was mission to deliver the promises president in the applications of the american people. and very simply, that their mission. a .4 million veterans receive medical care and the fed and by way of comparison, it will just point out in 2008 i arrived in january 2009. by the end of 2008, the number was 7.8 million. today is a .4 and thiproject due to be .6 in 2012, next year. in a period of four years, the number has grown about 800,009 project the numbers will continue to grow. there is another 14.3 million
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veterans and 35 million houses and mental children who don't receive care benefits from va, but still see themselves a veteran or parts of veterans families, whether or not they ever visit one of her medical centers or apply for disability. what i am suggesting is this is a large veteran population and they expect us to get things right for the veteran producer. over the next two years, we intend to produce the following deliverables. homelessness. president obama strongly supports ending veterans homelessness by 2015. two years ago there were approximately 131,000 veterans on any given night who were counted as homeless. and i saapproximately because these are estimates. today we etimate there are about 76,000 homeless veterans.
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we intend to take the nuer below ,000 by june of next year. and in route to ending veterans homelessness by 2015. the 2012 budget includes $939 million to prevent and reduce homelessness amongst veterans, an increase of 17.5% for $140 million over the 2011 budget. a comprehensive revi is underway to use the a's in korea think and are underutilized holdings to house homeless or his veterans and their families. the va has identified by 94 sites, which will potentially add about 630 unit housing through public-private ventures, using pas enhance touse this authority, an authory we have from the congress. [applause]
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so, where generating the housing unit that we need. this enhanced use dority comic eul is scheduled to lapse at the end of calendar year 011 and as reauthorization by the congress to continue increasing housing for almost veterans and their families. soe have placed a request before the congress to help us by extending the legislatn. the most flexible and responsive housing option remain the voucher today announced the voucher that's collaborated on the housing and urban development department in the period the secretary done within a night endorsed the importance of the joint effort. hud vouchers at present our only option at the moment for housing veterans with families were within veterans of children. our only option is hud -- and
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not fight so important to us. let me touch on the claims backlog. in 2000 we produced 977,000 claims decisions for the first time ver. it was a record for us. but then we took in a million claims returns. in 2010 for the firs time, we produced a million claims decisions going out the door, but took in 1.2 million claims. they fear we are programmed to receive somewhere between 1.4 m. 1.5 million claims. this growth is tied in part to the economic downturn. the numbers are large and merely hiring more claims processes won't give us the added capability to dominate this group pattern. look at incrementally better, but it doesn't allow us to handle numbers coming in as well as take down the backlog.
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we must automate. we must automate we must do it quickly. the 2012 budget is $2 billion, an increase of three and $30 million or19.8% over the 2011 -- 2010 budget. and these funds are needed to get us out of paper into electronic processing comes something that should've happened in the va decades ago. [applause] automation -- [applause] the power of automation, you know, part of our challenge is getting not just the sheer numbers, but also the quality of decision, accuracy of decision being made. and our quality right now is about 84. it's not good enough. he needs to be about 90%. if you're the dogs, you know, an
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800 batting average is okay, but why not the boston red socks. with the va we've got to get the number 290%. here is that automation allows to do. we have terrific claims processes who have been doing this for 20, 30 years. they have very little experience the quality positions is extremely high. we have youngsters who've been in the program two or three years and are still learning, but sheer demented numbers we have to put them online, supervised by similar senior folks. automation allows you to take the experience of the third-year veteran and put it into a rules-based pension and so that the three year experience has the benefit of that kind of experience with the data is provided to push a button. you get a decision that would've been driven driven by the log time employee. so that's why we have to automate. we have a host of promising options being piloted today.
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we expect a good number to begin paying off next year as we begin moving to fully automate the disability claims process. the preident's budget request for vba benefits administration provides $140 billion to complete the testing and fielding of our paperless system. but, dbms, an acronym you'll hear more of in the future. but that's where there have it. we piloted -- began piloting in november 2010 in providence rhode island. it looks great. we hope to have the way not nationally in 2012 and then we'll see what numbers provide. the g.i. bill -- the budget request supports expanded eligibility fo post g.i. benefits plan including non-college degree programs such as on-the-job training, flight
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training, correspondence courses among others. those acknowledgment that not every youngster was decent in a college classroom for four years. and before going to provide the opportunity for a college degree to some of our youngsters, we need to provide options for others who want to go to work. and here the vocational training business cakes and family have youngsters who want to go into caentry or plumbing for the schoolwork. we need to provide them the opportunity not to come as apprentices, but maybe well on their way to masterless theme. and so, we've provided equity in the system. it also fully fund -- the budget funds our nation and payment process for the new g.i. bill by the end of this year, speeding to wish them housing payments to eligible veterans into october of 2010 last year, the va has
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invested over $7 billion in tuion housing stays in to more than 423,000 student veterans in family members. banal educational initiatives are together, the government g.i. bill and vocation rehab training over a hundred thousand of our young veteran and family members are in college. so my report to you that the program is working thinks that congress' generosity and thanks decrease support of organizations like the american legion. this budget seeks nearly $51 billion for medical care that none of that exploit 2 billion for critically requiredo health programs, 60 billion directly to suicide prevention initiative celeb. most of you know we have a suide prevention hotline in holiday glut, new york, set up in 2008 as i recall.
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it's taken in over 400,000 phone calls to this point in their love for 11 to suicide and is for and about 10 by the good folks on the phone line. [applause] inside those 11,000 people who are definitively been held in saved by the best and. our focus is on treatment for posttraumatic stress, 20 brain injury and other psychological and cognitive health requirement as well as greater collaboration between the department of defense in the va to seamlessly provide mental heah care. and this is something secretary gates and i personally invested in. in addition to these major initiatives with the new budget
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recognizes the responsibilities and financial burdens assumed by caregivers, provides funding for specialized training, health care and mental health services. it's hard to overstate the tremendous sacrfices they make everyday to help on the drink. they are stored partners in helping us with the rehabilitation of veteran as someone who speaks or personal experience here, we can never say thank you enough or provide ough assistant to caregivers. so that's part of the budget as well. the new budget also invests in the health care care needs of women veterans wherever they seek care. we know these numbers will continue to grow and we want to get out ahead of that growth and ensure we have both programs and facilities as well as research underway before their numbers become more significant. it also provides operations maintenance funding to our national cemeteries administration to establish a
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new standard for providing nearly 90% of the better population, a burial site within 75 minutes of their homes. over time, hat distance in population has shrunk. at one time it was much larger and we are now down to what and 75 miles of any population of 80,000 veterans -- our goal is to have a cemetery within 75 miles of their home. the 2012 budget continues robust funding for rural health initiatives that we funded in 2009, 10 and 11. let me close with a reminder. i've talked about what we're trying to not just to handle today's programs, but how to be ready five years from now to provide even better service to a larger and more complex set of requirements that veterans have.
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so let me close with a reminder that we look that far into the future, why va must look behind you then position it felt for its responsibilities over the coming decade. i'm 26 march, 2010, about a year ago in a couple days, marine corporal todd vesely walking point for afghanistan trip to 40-pound pressure detonated ied improvised explosive device, ripped off his body armor. the blast was so powerfl that it picked up his body armor and helmet, tore off his right leg and left hand and eventually his left leg and right arm had to be removed as well. amazingly resilient through innumerable surgeries, ted nicely as one of the nation's three quadruple amputees out of iraq and afghanistan.
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the "washington post" recently told this incredible story about survival, about adjustment, about love, about support. but at its core, the article described the marine -- a young marine with the heart of a lion. what shines through all of this are todd vasiliev is humility, his own personal strength appeared to her and an incredibly positive attitude that comes from someplace deep in my. in his wors, i remember screaming once or twice coming of this bloodcurdling screams they do in the movies? he recounted of the moments immediately after the ied went off. i remember thinking to myself, don't do it again because this is the last image that these boys are going to have a few in their heads, so stay strong and
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after that i showed up. all that incredible pain, right? at their reunion at bethesda, his 24-year-old wife crystal, every bit as tough as there has been asked if he knew his legs are missing any city did. she then asked him if he knew his hands were also miss. he said no. he was quiet for a moment. and then i asked, did anybody else get hurt? chrystal said no and his response was one word. good. during an awards ceremony with members of his unit present, but donna's battalion commander said that he hoped his own children might one day have the courage of corporal todd nicely. and when it was thoughts turn to speak, he said simply, i'd like to thank everybody.
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i like to thank my platoon for geing me back. if you work for you guys, i don't think i'd be alive today. other than that, i don't really have much more to say. i love you guys. todd nicely with toughness, his courage, concerned for squad mates, even when his own life hung in the balance and is quite humility are hallmarks we have with us time and again, this generation of warriors, but not just this generation. warriors of previous generations spoke. whatever service they come from, all of us can see from todd nicely midsections the essence of the marine corps. semper favelas, always faithful. i am td the word poly trauma was not a word until this conflict.
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>> i look forward to working with all of you and our mutual calling. may god bless all his serve and has served our nation in uniform and may god continue to bless this wonderful country of ours.
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thank you all very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> thank you, mr. secretary. like secretary shinseki our award recipient hails from hawaii. daniel akaka is the only chinese american member of the united states senate. like most of his generation, senator akaka's youth was interrupted by world war ii. upon graduation from high school and 1942, he served in
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the united states army and as an active duty soldiers from 1943 to 1947. following the war, he enrolled in the university of hawaii. a strong believer in the power of education, she made it his career as a teacher and principal in the state of hawaii department of education. he was first elected to the united states house in 1976. congressman akaka was then appointed to the united states senate when senator spark masana passed away, subsequently winning election to the office in 1990, where he is in his fourth and final term. having recently announced that he does not intend of running for reelection in 2012. a strong and vocal advocate for
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veterans and, senator akaka has served on the senate committee on veterans affairs for each year of his 10-tenure. at the start of the 110th congress, he was tapped to serve as chairman, a position he retained until the completion of the 11t1th congress. he presided over significant legislation to provide historic budget increases for our veterans, secure a best preparations for the virgin.a., expand access to health care, improve health services for all veterans and modernize the benefits earned by american troops. also no worthing, considering his college education was funded by the original g.i. bill and his strong belief in the power
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of education, senator akaka sponsored the post-9/11 veterans educational systems improvement act of 2010. this legislation, which president obama signed into law in january of this year, substantially improves and expand educational benefits so that america's newest generation of veterans receive a benefit package that is equal to or better to it those provided veterans of world war ii, korea, and vietnam. this recipients of this year's american legion distinguished public service award is the junior senator from the state of hawaii and a true friend of his fellow veterans, the hon. daniel akaka. he could not be with us today but he has communicated his gratitude to
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the american legion through this video. >> i am sorry that i could not be with you in washington, but i wanted to take a moment to thank you for this great honor. as you know, the american legion is a widely respected organization. you do so many great things for so many people. i am truly humbled and honored to be recognized by the legion. i trust you are having a very productive conference in
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washington. i understand that my friend jimmie foster and secretary eric shinseki is speaking at this event. they are truly dedicated to helping all veterans. i believe that all of us share a common interest in wanting to help others. in this case, all veterans. this is a worthy cause. we have a sacred obligation to care for those who have served our country. as you may have heard, i recently announced my intention to retire from the united states senate at the end of the 112th
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congress. however, there is more work to be done. as a senior member of both the armed services and veterans affairs committees, i will continue to fight to ensure that our service members, veterans, and their families receive the benefits and services they have earned and deserve. from the bottom of my heart, [speaking hawaiian], thank you very much for this recognition. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, a lawyer for their applause, lettuce pay tribute to the great attributes -- let us pay tribute to the great attributes that senator akaka has given it veterans over many years. [applause] if anybody has ever been before him, he does talk just like that. i am proud of him. matthew schneider was a fighter, the marine corps lance corporal made the supreme sacrifice for his country on march 3, 2006, while serving in iraq. his father has proven that the apple did not fall far from the three. -- from the tree. stock -- when protesters from the west are religious cult
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entered upon matthew's funeral, albert it took him to court. he either forcefully lost his recent supreme court decision by a vote of 8-1. nevertheless, thanks to the american legion riders, the patriot guard, and other supporters, we have been able to shield some families from the protestors' venom. adding insult to the injury mr. snyder is responsible for paying and church's court costs legal fees. this is an outrage. thanks to you and other members of the american legion family,
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we have been able to raise a 458 for thef 26,00 albert snyder fund. i would now like to present this check in person to mr. snyder who is with us today with his pro bono attorney shawn summers. [applause]
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>> the symbolic check behind us, we all know the check is not in the mail. is here. we hope there is much more to come. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. as a prod member of shiloh post 791 -- >> [applause] >> i appreciate everything you do. all must know the words, on duty, honor, and sacrifice, and mr. snyder knows the word sacrifice more than some of us will ever known. mr. snyder is a very kind
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individual that made a huge sacrifice for our country and over the last five years has become a very dear friend. without further ado, here is mr. l. schnsnyder. [applause] >> thank you. thank yousress enough. the veterans have probably better my biggest supporters over the last four years, and i do not think i could've done what i've done without the support of all of you and all of our active duty soldiers and marines. it has been a long battle. i am not about to give up just because some people on the supreme court said they could do it. [applause]
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i will continue to press for legislation to make the picketing and protest at funerals a little bit harder for the westborough baptist church. i know one person that has been with me the whole time and that was matt. matt was so loyal son and he was a loyal friend and brother. and i know that matt would be supporting s 100%, because he would not want to see another family go through what we what through. just keep fighting. if you get a chance to talk to your legislators, ask them to introduce bills. you have my undying gratitude for everything you ever done for me and my family. thank you. [applause]
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>> up next, abc news anchor back ofsawyer looks your career in broadcast journalism. then on "washington journal", we get an update on libya and the health care law. "washington journal" at 7:00 a.m. eastern. later, a couple of the beds about the political unrest in the middle east. foreignmorocco's minister. live coverage from the brookings
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institution at 10:30 a.m. eastern. and from the carnegie endowment for international peace, the president of the american university in cairo will give her perspective on the recent changes in egypt and the arab world. that is live at 1:00 p.m. eastern. >> this c-span networks that provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. it is available on television, radio, online and on social media networking sites. find our content any time through c-span library. it's washington your way. the c-span networks, now available and over 100 million homes. created by cable, provided as a public-service. >> now a conversation with abc world news anger diane sawyer -- anchor diane sawyer.
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this event is moderated by former nbc news correspondent marvin kalb. this was held at the national press club. >> this is "the kalb report" with marvin kalb. [applause] >> hello and welcome to the national press club. our subject tonight -- diane sawyer, the life in news. i do not remember the exact date, but about four years ago, of very bright young woman, a graduate of wellesley college, walked into the cbs news room in washington. everyone looked up and realized instinctively that someone special had just entered, someone like the to be on a very fast track, as, indeed, she has
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said. abc news has provided us with a brief promotional film about diane's career. let's take a look. >> for more than three decades, diane sawyer has been one of the most respected journalists on television, known for hard- hitting investigative reports and exclusive interviews with world leaders. as anchor of "good morning america," and now "world news," isne has shown that she able to do everything. >> would you like to see this document? is it a joke? >> her career began in 1968. she began as a weather girl in
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her home town of louisville, ky. she learned reporting. she next went to washington and the nixon white house to observe a presidency firsthand, staying on to help nixon write his memoirs after his resignation. in 1978, she returned to tv news at cbs. in 1984 should made history by becoming the first woman on "60 minutes." in 1989, she joined abc news to create "primetime live." every week she traveled the world, one is arguing her way into the office of russian boris yeltsin. she hasthe years, led investigations into the lives of the poor.
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>> they search for someone to help them, just a few hundred dollars, but the church is poor. no money can be found. louisvilleawyer from ky, the new kid on the block. >> she added another job, rising at dawn, bringing americans the full morning spectrum of news and information. two years later, they would watch and report on the horror of the 9/11 as la plata. >> this is not just another story, even for reporters. it is a truly eerie scene. >> in december 2009, she moved on from good morning america and became anger of world news. >> it is so good to be with your
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with you tonight. >> as always, she has her bags packed for the big story. >> people asking, when will help all arrive? i have covered a lot of disasters around the world and have never seen the perfect storm of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear fears. >> she has won every award, but most of all she has earned respect of her viewers to know if they want a tough question for a dictator -- >> have you ever personally killed someone who opposed to? >> or maybe just a sense of wonder for the news of the day. turn on the television, and diane will be there every night. [applause] my pleasure to welcome you to "the kalb report" as we open this
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conference of the international women's media foundation, many of whose members are in the audience, eager to hear about your career, and your take on the news business. is somethinghor very special. describe for us what is so special. >> first of all, i have to say it is very special just to be sitting here with you. you have to hear this, because if you remember when i first walked into cbs news, all i remember is when i was sent to cover the state department with marvin kalb. and i came in and secretaries of
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state were calling you. i could not get a telephone call returned from an answering machine for the costa rican desk. for me, this is a true pinnacle. this is the kind of dream to be back home. ok, now, hijacking your interview, is that what you are worried about? is to try ashor much as possible to be the 360 degree radar of the day, of the driving question that has to take you through a broadcast. and it is such a gift to be able to throw to incredible correspondence, moving to the streets of iran.
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it is such a gift to be able to report the stories of some of the women i know you have at the conference, report with such incredible bravery. so it just seems to me that to be an anchohr is to be a witness to the world in its varying questions, and the way it presents itself in terms of priorities and during the day. it is to get a chance to make decisions that you hope at home somebody will look up and say a couple of things -- i did not know that. which is the first and most wonderful question. and then the second thing is -- this has helped me live my life. now i understand. this week's be up to the world -- this wakes me up to the world. how do we wake up ourselves, our
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questions, and our reporting today? >> and waking up the world, what do you see as your own special responsibilities, when you arrive in the office? what is it that you are looking for? >> well, i'm persistent. [laughter] i have strong opinions. i think really the job, in a way, is to have opinions that can excite the conversation. we are group of people sitting around a room every day talking to the correspondence in the field. and i'll lay think that my job is sometimes to tried to be -- i only think my job is to be as fearless as i can be and say,
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let's try this. heaven knows i am old. and what have i got to lose. let's do something sphere list today. let's try something today. >> the general call to or a president and said, i know you are about to run a story. please do not do that. what would your response be? has that ever happened? >> it has never happened to me. i know that it happens in the capacity of world news, and charlie has told me in the past about the dilemma. i do think that everybody is a careful decision weighed heavily with our dual responsibilities not to put lives at risk at the same time to stay true to our contract with the american people, that we tell you what we know. >> you probably know that according to the pure research center, more americans under the age of 30 and a lot of people in
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our audience get their news from the internet, not from television news. so how'd you adjust to this new reality? twitter.we're on we are at "world news." i am not on twitter, but i am on facebook. i think it is the most exciting and vitality during the day to see all the different ways -- we can see all the different conversations going on at once. at the same time that we are getting ready to put a piece on the air -- i interviewed secretary clinton to date -- at the same time, we are taking a picture. we are saying about something that is happening. i also think it is a great opportunity to take people behind the scenes and often to hear -- i cannot tell you how often we hear from facebook or
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something coming into the world news tweets, a questionnaire he said, of course that is what everybody wanted to know. some giant cacophony, the giant democracy, the giant course can sometimes -- right through to you at the moment that you need it most. >> do you see the new world of the internet as your major competition? or is it still cbs and nbc? >> [laughter] it's still you. i am going to go back to the state department. as a don't see it competition with the internet. i really do not. i don't. i think if we do not figure out what we do uniquely, then that is the forum of ideas. you have to be out there creating a unique and important
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conversation, answering questions in a way that you -- so they also want to come to us. >> i do notice that you do carry on a conversation with the audience, as opposed to the old days when we would broadcast to the audience. is that deliver? >> that is just me. i do not have one of those voices. >> oh, yes, you do. >> i said to charlie when he would do the headlines, the opening of the show, i go, "i can't do that." and i always wish i had one of those, but i just do not have that. says some of that is just a function of the physiology of the vocal cords. >> i think also what i am trying to get at is how the u.sdo you n anchor -- how do you persuade so
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many people that are now absorbed in the new world of information and communication not to perceive you as a relic of the past, but rather to see you as -- [laughter] >> a relic of the past? >> i mean the program, not you. >> there was a gesture my way. emerging from my archaeological dig. let me tackle that question. i think by breaking some of the conventions and the formulas, we are still in the moment when the news is breaking and you come to broadcast television, and we are as a media and alive as how the story feels and tastes and smells.
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when you are there with us, we do not have to make an argument. >> a good point. recently come back from a trip to japan. and we are now here in washington talking as we tape this, but you were there to cover another extraordinary story overseas and you have done a lot of that. what i am trying to understand is, in a way, why did you make that trip? if you answer me, because it was a great story, it is not enough. why do you make the trip? you have seven responsibilities they cut into a decision, because it costs a lot to send you and a lot of people overseas. why did you make the trip to japan? >> i wish i could say it was a science. it's not. a lot of this is i feel impelled to go. it is not just that i covered the tsunami in indonesia and
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southeast asia, but i felt that that was a story that i had to experience tangibly and to see. and as we said, this incredible constellation of disasters. and i felt at the time, at that moment, too, that there was a reason for the entire broadcast to be there. part of being an anchor is a decision about where are you best there anchoring. isn't it don hewitt and coined the term anchor from the relay race. when are you best there, the center of the axis of great people, and when is the best for you to take the whole broadcast and go overseas, because it does change that balance.
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and the middle east, ch ristiane ammanpour was there, who were fantastic. i was here is the story moved from tunisia to egypt. it is the case by case decision. it is so much about the entire broadcast going. >> tell me about the cuts that are taking place at networks these days. abc in 2010, there was a 25% cut in staff. did people have to be cut from "world news"? >> yes, everyone. we have close to 100 at any given time. we yes freelance editors coming in. >> did people have to be cut from that number? >> we did have to cut from that number. you know, it was anguishing.
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everybody there, everybody at every part of the network. >> did the program itself lose money in its annual budget? >> i do not know. i do not do budgets. >> you do not do money. >> i never have. i've never asked how much it costs to go to japan. i do not want to know. not my problem. you have to talk me out of it. >> do the cuts in staff at a certain point in the day, as you are looking around and hoping you could get joe or married to go here or there, but he may not have joe or mary because they are cut, does it affect the quality of what you are giving to the american people? >> i think sometimes it has and
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does affect our exhaustion and our attention and our feeling, oh, joe and mary did this. how are we going to do this another way? this is in no way to say that it was not a true heartbreak for everyone who's colleague's left. our responsibility is to look at what we are doing and to say, are we deploy our resources on what we really believe the future to be? and to sharpen and hones those within it. gosh, i cannot believe this. one of the first stories i ever did was in africa. are remembered always with the masai and i was out way in the middle of the night in the middle of the night in the desert -- it was


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